WRC

Rally Deutschland: Leg two summary

Sebastien Loeb and Dani Sordo (both Citroen) continue to head the leaderboard but were not as dominant today and won only one stage each. The young Spaniard beat Loeb on all the first four stages and the Frenchman's first leg lead of 42.7sec was...

Sebastien Loeb and Dani Sordo (both Citroen) continue to head the leaderboard but were not as dominant today and won only one stage each. The young Spaniard beat Loeb on all the first four stages and the Frenchman's first leg lead of 42.7sec was reduced to 34.3sec. Toni Gardemeister (Citroen) struggled for grip and could not hold off Gronholm while Hirvonen also closed in. Manfred Stohl (Peugeot) rounded off the top six, despite clutch and gearbox problems. Stephane Sarrazin and Chris Atkinson (both Subaru) were caught out by the weather this afternoon when both chose intermediate tyres on roads that turned out to be dry. They are eighth and 10th. Mattias Ekstrom (Skoda) fell off the leaderboard when he dropped four minutes with transmission troubles and a broken driveshaft on the final loop cost another four minutes. Petter Solberg (Subaru) retired from fifth with engine failure on the opening stage and will not restart tomorrow. Xavi Pons (Citroen) retired with gearbox troubles in service after stage 12. There has been a clear winner of the day: Jan Kopecky in his CRT Skoda Fabia WRC. Before and after the Panzerplatte loop there has been a "normal" Saarland asphalt stage, Bosenberg. And Kopecky seems to cope especially well with this stage, as he won it both times!

Kronos Total Citroen

At the end of leg two, run largely through the Baumholder military ranges, Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena and Dani Sordo/Marc Marti have a firm grip on first and second places. Xevi Pons/Carlos Del Barrio were forced to retire after SS12 with a hydraulic problem. They will restart tomorrow morning under the 'superally' regulations.

Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena: " Dani was very quick this morning in tricky conditions. This afternoon we were thinking more about the championships. Maintaining our positions would be extremely positive both for Kronos and ourselves, before we go to face Marcus Gronholm on his home territory in Finland. We have to be extremely careful on the final leg now, where the weather could make life very complicated. "

Dani Sordo/Marc Marti: "We just drove calmly. I really hope I can seal this second place tomorrow. A result like that would be fantastic for me and would fulfil exactly what the team asked. "

Xavier Pons/Carlos Del Barrio: "Tomorrow we will start again in order to try and finish this rally on a positive note by setting some quick times. "

OMV-Peugeot Norway

Manfred Stohl and Ilka Minor are pleased with the second day of the OMV ADAC Rallye. For a short time even in fifth place the OMV Peugeot Norway World Rally Team was then overtaken by Mikko Hirvonen. 6th place remains the best intermediate place at the OMV ADAC Rallye nevertheless. The 34-year-old Austrian is determined to attack once more on Sunday.

Manfred Stohl/Ilka Minor: Stohl didn't face many problems on Saturday. Only at the "Panzerplatte" he had to switch from wheel switch to manual shift after 15 of 30 kilometres. The loss of time was minimal. The real problem presented itself at the regrouping before entering the service area, when the clutch of the Peugeot 307 WRC failed. Stohl/Minor did a makeshift repair of the hydraulic line and finally were able to make it to the service area. There the clutch was exchanged. Stohl: "My heart skipped a beat. Under normal circumstances you can't do a makeshift repair on these cars. We were lucky to manage it." In the afternoon, events were repeating themselves. The car wouldn't start at the regrouping. It was pushed through the time control at the last possible moment. Soon thereafter the ignition worked once again. After finishing the OMV circuit in St. Wendel in 4th place, the OMV Duo Stohl/Minor finished the second day in 6th place.

BP-Ford

BP-Ford World Rally Team drivers Marcus Gronholm and Timo Rautiainen won two speed tests as they climbed to third during the second leg of Rallye Deutschland today. Their Ford Focus RS World Rally Car excelled on the mainly dry asphalt roads of south-west Germany as the Finns chase their fourth podium finish in the five-year history of the rally. Team-mates Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen were also in winning form on this ninth round of the FIA World Rally Championship. They claimed one special stage victory as they moved into fifth in their similar BP Ultimate and Castrol-branded Focus RS.

Marcus Gronholm/Timo Rautiainen: "We swapped the settings back to those we used on the pre-event test, which was dry, and the car felt good. It's just in the wet that I'm struggling because I don't have the confidence. I need to practise driving in the wet to find the right set-up for this car, but there hasn't been much rain this summer to do that. It has been so much better in the dry today. Slick tyres in the rain are just not for me.

Mikko Hirvonen/Jarmo Lehtinen: "I will try to catch Toni tomorrow but the key factor will again be tyres and everyone will be nervous. I'm not sure I can catch him if we both make the same tyre choice because there are not enough kilometres remaining but if we take different options then it's possible,"

Stobart VK M-Sport Ford

The Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team vaulted up the order in the second day of OMV ADAC Rallye Deutschland with a dry day's running in the challenging military ranges enabling Matthew Wilson to jump up the leaderboard by 17 places through the course of the event's second leg to home in for a top ten placing in the ninth round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

Matthew Wilson/Michael Orr: "It gelled better today and I had a good feeling for the stages as we had consistency, we're going alright in the car. We did nothing silly today as we just wanted a good clean run. We had fun in the Super Special as there were lots of British flags so we were fully sideways the whole way round. It wasn't fast but it was certainly spectacular."

Jari Mati Latvala says: "The aim now is to get to the end as we cannot have a good result because of Friday. In stage 13 we had a problem at one corner where we came down hard and the car stopped. We got out to check the car but there wasn't anything wrong so we got back in and started up to finish the stage with no more problems The car is good, the set-up is good the only thing we need to improve for the rest of the stages today is the driving."

555 Subaru

At the end of the second Leg of competition in Germany, Subaru's Stephane Sarrazin holds eighth place overall and leads the Subaru World Rally Team's challenge. The Frenchman moved up two places on the leaderboard during the day and set the third-fastest time on the Leg's final special stage.Chris Atkinson made steady progress through the notoriously difficult Baumholder stages to end the day tenth overall. After an encouraging performance on Leg one, Petter Solberg's Rallye Deutschland came to a premature end in the first stage today when an engine problem forced his retirement.

Petter Solberg/Phil Mills: "Things started well today, but without any warning, when we were flat out in sixth gear on SS9, the engine made some pretty bad noises, stopped and that was it. There are still some positives to take from this rally though. We have made some good improvements with the car and when we had the right tyre for the conditions we were quick. I think in general we have taken a good step forward over the summer.We're planning for Finland now.It's a rally that I like a lot and I think it will be a very interesting event this year."

Stephane Sarrazin/Denis Giraudet: "Today has been better than yesterday.I've had a trouble-free run and I'm here with the car in one piece. This morning we made a mistake with the tyre - we thought it would be wet but it was dry.In those circumstances it was difficult to push as hard as we wanted.But in the afternoon we had a more suitable tyre, increased the pace and set better times."

Chris Atkinson/Glen MacNeall: "Overall the day has been good.It's a shame we gave away some time on the first stage, when we didn't have such a good feeling in the car, but things improved steadily after that. The Baumholder stage was pretty tough, the surface was loose in places and it's hard to judge the grip levels - especially on slicks.Skating along the road in fifth gear, centimetres from those Hinkelsteins is not ideal! But on the last stage out in the fields (SS14) we did a pretty good time. Tomorrow we'll do what we can, I'm looking forward to the smoother roads of Leg three; they should suit us better."

Red Bull-Skoda Team

The second day of the OMV ADAC Rally in Germany was a rough ordeal for drivers and cars. The Baumholder stages including the 'Panzerplatte' attracted multitudes of spectators, who were enthralled by the performances of rallying's best.

Mattias Ekstrom/Jonas Andersson: The Swede broke the upper part of a damper on SS12, although this was later fixed in time during service: "Afterwards the right front drive shaft broke on the road section to SS13. We picked up 1:30 minutes of penalty time because we arrived late at the following time control. Obviously we lost even more time because of the mechanical problem itself, we had to complete three more stages without service. Nevertheless we'll try and improve our current position."

Andreas Aigner/Timo Gottschalk: "Of course we constantly felt the pressure from behind. Additionally we had three tyre failures where even the mousse leaked, and then we lost another 15 seconds when I stalled the engine in a corner. I just hope that I can keep Sarrazin, Kopecky and Atkinson at bay tomorrow."

-credit: www.rallye-newsletter.com

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Stéphane Sarrazin , Mattias Ekström , Marcus Gronholm , Petter Solberg , Sébastien Loeb , Timo Rautiainen , Manfred Stohl , Mikko Hirvonen , Marc Marti , Toni Gardemeister , Jan Kopecky , Jarmo Lehtinen , Ilka Minor , Xavier Pons , Matthew Wilson , Michael Orr , Chris Atkinson , Andreas Aigner , Timo Gottschalk
Teams Citroën World Rally Team , M-Sport